Happy Labor Day!

Today is Labor Day in the United States.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day celebrates the social and economic contributions of workers to the prosperity of the United States. It is always observed the first Monday of September.

The first ever Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. By 1885, many other cities also celebrated Labor Day. While New York was the first state to introduce legislation to make Labor Day a state holiday in 1885, Oregon was the first state to pass such legislation in 1887. Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts quickly followed suit, and by the end of 1887 all five states observed Labor Day.

By 1894, 23 additional states passed legislation to officially observe Labor Day. Congress passed legislation on June 28, 1894 to make Labor Day a national holiday.

Labor Day still retains its message about American workers, but it has also come to represent other things. Labor Day is seen as the third and final of the Summer patriotic holidays, which also includes Memorial Day and Independence Day. It is also the informal end of summer, since many school children return to class following the holiday. It is also a day (and extended weekend) to have picnics, engage in summer activities, and watch sports.

Labor Day even has a fashion connection — women are not supposed to wear white after Labor Day. This “rule” has fallen out of popularity recently. I know I don’t follow it  — I have a white dress waiting to be worn to a party in a couple of weeks!

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